Lessons about lessons
One of my favourite sayings is – hindsight is 20/20. It really is a beautiful thing and sometimes I find myself wishing that I was a character in one of those fairy tales I read when I was younger and I could go back and have a do-over, knowing then what I know now. Except the funny thing is – I don’t know if I would! Sometimes, I wonder if I would do things differently if I went back, despite my feelings about how things may have turned out about individual incidents that occurred. And the truth is – I don’t think I would. Often I have found that when things don’t seem to be going to plan, with hindsight I can see benefits that came out of the situation. I can see where I avoided something horrible in the long term, or grew and developed as a result. That is why I started this blog – so that I could reflect on the lessons I learned from less than perfect outcomes. Once I started to reflect, I could see so much good coming out of past situations that didn’t seem good at the time. And writing those lessons has in itself taught me a few valuable lessons. Lessons about lessons – these are my lessons for today.
1. Writing lessons allows me to forgive, and remember more fondly. I much prefer this approach than forgive and forget – partially because if I forgot then this blog would have been very short indeed!! When I am able to see the lessons that I learned from situations involving others, it is easy to let go of any annoyance or anger that I might have felt towards them. It makes it easier for me to forgive them or myself (whichever is needed at the time) and my memory of the situation is less harsh. Sometimes, I realize where I had a part to play in the situation, and it allows me to change how I act or react in the future. Sometimes I realize I need to change my approach to the other person involved. Either way, I can let things go more easily and it helps with the decisions I make now. This is actually the second lesson
2. Writing lessons allows me to see my daily life differently. Looking at the lessons affects not only how I reflect on past events but also affects how I consider events in the present. It doesn’t necessarily come easily (and sometimes I have to remind myself) but knowing that negative experiences or situations often appear positive once I see them in the rear view mirror actually makes them easier to deal with on a daily basis. For me a great example of this is when I fractured my ankle. As difficult as it was to manage, in the back of my mind, I thought to myself – someday you are going to look back and see the good in this. Knowing that makes coping with failures or trials in the moment slightly easier. And lessons also affect how I look at the future!
3. Writing lessons allows me to consider the future with optimism. Once I started looking at life in such a way that even negative experiences could present opportunities for growth and lessons, it even effects how I can make longer term decisions, and consider the future. I tend to be a perfectionist, and would often agonize over decisions especially big decisions that I have to make, weighing up pros and cons so that I can make that perfect decision. But no decision is perfect, and sometimes what seems like a good decision can lead to an unexpected outcome, because no matter how much I believe it to be true, there are some aspects of the outcome that I have no control over. If I remove the need for the outcome to be perfect and I accept that something good will come out of either outcome, I am more likely to take the plunge instead of wavering between options without taking action. This way of thinking has helped tremendously with progress over perfection. It doesn't mean that I don't make the occasional pros/cons list, but it means that I am more courageous when it comes to taking chances and making decisions that might be scary or with an outcome that I am not sure of. It makes it easier to overcome the negative voices that often talk me out of taking action.
I challenge you to look back at a situation which you remember being bad at the time, and perhaps see if you can find a lesson out of it and see how that makes you feel.
And until next time, I send you Big love from a small island...
Ps google has a tendency to show my photos I took years ago and I came across this one the other day. It has nothing to do with the post at all, but it was one of my favourite photos I took on safari!